COWETA COUNTY, Ga. — On the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, people across the country worked on hundreds of service projects to help those in need in their communities.

But one person in Coweta County is also pursuing an urgent dream of his own - helping families who are in the midst of devastating earthquakes in Puerto Rico.

Many can't escape the devastation. 

Two years ago, it was Hurricane Maria that destroyed large sections of this U.S. territory. This time, it’s a series of destructive earthquakes and aftershocks that began right after Christmas.

“They weren’t fully recovered from the hurricane when the earthquakes hit," said Lt. Edwin Rivera of the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.

RELATED: Magnitude 5.2 earthquake shakes Puerto Rico


On Facebook on Friday,  Rivera said he’s confident that overwhelming problems in Puerto Rico will not overwhelm the compassion of metro Atlantans. Rivera has started to organize a drive to collect supplies for Puerto Ricans. 

Niagara Bottling is donating a truck-load of water and Delta Air Lines is donating the plane to deliver the goods. The Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page lists items most needed.

Lt. Rivera said the suffering that people are enduring hits home.

 “It’s personal, we still have family there, and even if it wasn’t there, it’s just something that, it’s humanitarian, a humanitarian effort.”

People are searching for ways to donate to the right places. This past Saturday in Puerto Rico, a Facebook Live post revealed a warehouse of never-used humanitarian relief supplies given to Puerto Rico in previous natural disasters. Puerto Rico’s governor immediately fired several people in the government.

RELATED: Puerto Rico woke up Saturday to another earthquake

Lt. Rivera said he is working on a way to go to Puerto Rico himself so he can meet the supplies when they arrive and supervise the distribution.

For those who want to donate, 

Born Again Ministries, which is located at 158 Greison Trail in Newnan, will be the collection point.

You can drop items off at the following times:

  • Saturday, January 25 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Sunday, January 26 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Here is a list of items they need:

  • Tents
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Blankets
  • Batteries
  • Flashlights
  • Battery Operated Lanterns
  • Tarps
  • First Aid Kits
  • Baby Diapers
  • Adult Diapers
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Hand Sanitizer

For more information, contact Edwin Rivera at erivera@coweta.ga.us and Melanie Swartz at mswartz@coweta.ga.us

Delta helps bring home metro Atlanta students whose mission in Puerto Rico was cut short after earthquake

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